Raptors still have decisions to make before NBA restarts

Raptors still have decisions to make before NBA restarts

The Toronto Raptors have an NBA championship to defend, a very long stay at the Disney complex awaiting them and plenty of unanswered questions on how the restart of the season will work.

As the NBA’s lone Canadian team, there’s an added complexity: The U.S. border.

Raptors coach Nick Nurse said Tuesday that his team is still working through various scenarios for having workouts before heading to Disney World near Orlando, Florida along with 21 other teams next month for the restart of the season. Teams are expected at Disney around July 7, though the expectation is that the league will permit practices before that date.

“We haven’t really made a final decision on it on a date to reconvene, or where we’re going, or any of that kind of stuff yet,” Nurse said in a call with Toronto media. “We’ve made plans on both sides of the border, just for doing it as safe as possible. It’s kind of our first and foremost priority — then maybe as quickly as possible, too.”

For the Raptors, the issue of how to proceed largely stems from Canadian government regulations currently in place that call for a 14-day quarantine for people returning to Canada. Some Raptors players are in Toronto right now; some are in the U.S.

Getting those players from Canada — or other countries — into the U.S. is a process streamlined somewhat by an order signed last month by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf, one that provided the exemption for professional athletes from rules put in place during the pandemic that would have otherwise barred their entry into the U.S.

“We’ve still got a few options that we’re looking at,” Nurse said.

The NBA hasn’t released many details of the plan for how things will work at Disney yet, with many items still being worked out in talks with the National Basketball Players Association and other entities. What is known, however, is a tentative schedule where teams arrive in early July, play begins in late July and Game 7 of the NBA Finals could be as late as Oct. 12.

That means a team, if it makes the title series, could spend nearly 100 days at Disney before going home. And if the Raptors choose to have a training camp in the U.S. beforehand, that would obviously add a few more days to their away-from-home total.

Nurse said he thinks the NBA is giving teams enough time to get ready between practice and the likelihood of a couple of scrimmages before the games — seeding games, the NBA is calling them, though they will factor into the regular season standings — finally begin again. Teams have not played since the NBA suspended the season March 11 because of coronavirus concerns.

“We still don’t quite have all the information, but that’s getting closer,” Nurse said. “Day by day, it gets closer, and then we’ll make a final decision. We’ll have to do a lot of things, as you guys might guess. We’ll have to do some testing right away. Before we make any moves, we’ll have to get a lot of things in place.”

___

Associated Press Writer Ian Harrison in Toronto contributed to this story.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

basketball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

school
Rimbey Christian School building projects nearing completion

New gym, soccer field and skating rink will be open to community use as well

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Kelowna RCMP Stock Image.
Bentley post office damaged, armed robbery at Subway

Sylvan Lake RCMP respond to incidents in Bentley last month

James Taylor of Rimbey has won $100,000 from a scratch ticket. (Photo submitted)
Rimbey winner scratches his way to $100,000 prize

James Taylor says store staff were almost more excited than he was

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council squashes mask bylaw

The bylaw did not make it past first reading, after a 4-3 vote defeated the motion

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Most Read